Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley beat German Elite champion Dennis Radovan to claim gold at the European U/23 Championships in Russia today.
The Finn Valley BC ace, a gold medal winner at the 2009 European Youth Championships in Poland, was handed a 17-11 decision after the final bell of today’s 75kg final at the Sports Palace in Kaliningrad.
Boxing superbly on the counter in the face of Radovan’s constant aggression, Quigley, who had his dad Conor and Zuar Antia in his corner, took the first two rounds 5-3 and 5-3 to command a four-point advantage going into the third.
Radovan, as expected, threw caution to the wind in the third, but Quigley held his composure and kept picking up points on the counter to win that frame 7-5 and seal his second top of the podium finish in European competition.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the win,” said the newly crowned champion, who was presented with his medal today.
“When I won the bronze here I was very happy to have my second European medal, but when you get to that stage you always want to change the colour and thankfully I did.”
“Jason produced a fantastic performance against a very good opponent. I thought Hugh was very unlucky and I thought that he did enough to shade it”, said Irish team manager and coach John Finn.
Earlier today, Hugh Myres lost out in his bid for gold after being edged out by a single point in his light-flyweight final with Armenia’s Kariun Sogomonyan.
The 2009 AIBA World Youth champion was awarded an 11-10 decision after three tight rounds in Kaliningrad.
Both boxers had their moments at the Sports Palace, although Myres will feel unlucky that he wasn’t adjudged to have won the second and third frames
Sogomonyan - who seems to be making a habit of beating Irish boxers by a single point as he edged out Evan Metcalfe 15-14 en route to gold at the IABA hosted 2011 European Youth Championships in Dublin - and Myres shared the first 1-1.
Myres (Ryston BC) winged home two solid rights at the start of the second, Sogomonyan responding with a neat left mid-way through a frame which finished level at 4-4.
In the crucial third, Myres cleaner shots looked like they would deliver gold for Ireland, but the Armenian was adjudged to have won the stanza 6-5.
Today’s gold and silver medal wins cap an outstanding year for Irish boxing, which has won gold, silver and bronze at every Olympic, World, European and Multi-Nation tournament entered in 2012
Zuar Antia, John Finn and Conor Quigley were working Ireland’s corner in Armenia. The Irish squad are due to arrive home through Dublin Airport at 9.30pm on Wednesday evening.